After a freak injury to Alex Smith, the Washington Redskins were stuck without a quarterback for the final 6 weeks of the season. Prior to the injury, the Redskins were primed to win the NFC East. They held a record of 6-3 before Smith was hurt in the 3rd quarter of their game against the Houston Texans. The injury took place on the anniversary of Joe Theismann’s famous injury, which was eerily similar to Smith’s. The Redskins would finish the year at 7-9, earning just 1 win with a rotating cast of quarterbacks. With it becoming more unlikely that Alex Smith could return in 2019, who can man the helm and lead the Redskins to the playoffs in 2019?
Alex Smith Returns
It’s extremely unlikely like he plays at all next year, but Alex Smith has proven he’s more than capable of taking a team to the playoffs. If he does play, he’d return to the team late in the season. At that point, who knows how well his replacement would be playing. It’s not certain whether or not he’ll play football ever again. If he chooses to come back, it will be a long process to get healthy. If not, his injury would have identical consequences to the injury of Theismann. Because the chances are so low, it isn’t smart to put faith in Smith to come back in 2019.
Nick Foles Finds A Home
The legend of Nick Foles came to an abrupt end in the 2018-19 playoffs. The presence of Carson Wentz means Foles’ talent will be wasted on the bench. He’s a free agent this offseason, and early reports are saying he’ll be franchise tagged and traded for a mid-round pick. It’s unknown if the Eagles would trade Foles in their own division, but the Redskins should put some thought into obtaining the veteran QB. Nick Foles is much more competent than any QB that wore a Redskins jersey post Smith’s injury. Unless his magic has run out, Foles should be able to be successful with the Washington Redskins.
Colin Kaepernick Comes Back
Another unlikely scenario, as Colin Kaepernick is currently being blacklisted by NFL owners. If the Redskins actually wanted to win this last season, they could’ve picked Kaep up to run the offense. Instead, they made his claims of blackballing more valid than it had been before. Colt Mccoy, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Johnson (who hadn’t attempted a pass since 2011) were all given a chance to play quarterback before Kaep. It seems like the Redskins have no interest in Colin Kaepernick. Even if they had interest, who knows if he wants to play in the NFL still. It would be slightly ironic for him to come back to the NFL just to play on a team called the Redskins.
Ryan Tannehill or Teddy Bridgewater Bounce Back
Both these quarterbacks are coming off of recent ACL injuries. Tannehill’s return to the Dolphins looked promising until he ultimately returned to playing at a mediocre level. He was on and off with the team, and only played 11 games as the Dolphins gave playing time to Brock Osweiler. Not a great look for somebody trying to prove themselves as above replacement level. He’s a known entity, which could end up making him a backup somewhere.
Teddy Bridgewater was bounced around between teams this past offseason. He’d go to the Jets only to later be traded to the Saints to back up for Drew Brees. Teddy played one game this year, starting week 17 against the Carolina Panthers. He didn’t look great in a loss, but it should be noted that key players like Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara were given limited snaps. He was okay, but it remains unknown whether or not he can come back strong from his injury. If he can, it would be smart for the Redskins to pick him up.
NFL Draft Resolves the Issue
The quarterback class this year is much less intriguing than the 2018 class. Nobody stands out as being the absolute number 1 QB to take. There are some interesting prospects, though. Dwayne Haskins seems to be most people’s top QB in the class. Throughout the year at Ohio State, he improved his game and looks more than ready to take over an NFL offense. Whether he lasts until the Redskins’ pick is yet to be seen. Kyler Murray has many question marks surrounding him. If he’s not drafted at a high position, it seems very likely he’ll return to baseball. His interviews are filled with questions he doesn’t understand how to answer. He’s listed as 5’9″, which is much shorter than the quarterbacks already deemed “too short”.
The Redskins’ quarterback fiasco is an intriguing story to watch unfold this upcoming offseason. It’s unsure what their plan is, but a QB must be a top priority. It’s unknown whether any of these quarterbacks will be able to bring the Redskins to the playoffs, but they may be their only hope.